On October 12, 2017, the Committee on Ethics (“Committee”) announced that it was reviewing allegations referred by the Office of Congressional Ethics (“OCE”) regarding Representative Christopher Collins. The Committee published OCE’s referral at that time. Subsequently, on August 8, 2018, Representative Collins was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and false statements stemming from allegations separate from those already under review by the Committee. Pursuant to Committee Rule 18(e)(2), within 30 days of a Member being indicted or otherwise formally charged with criminal conduct, the Committee shall either establish an Investigative Subcommittee (“ISC”) or report to the House describing its reasons for not establishing an ISC.
In accordance with House Rule XI, clause 3, and Committee Rules 10(a)(2) and 18(e)(2), and following Committee precedent, the Committee unanimously voted on September 6, 2018, to establish an ISC. Pursuant to the Committee’s action, the ISC shall have jurisdiction to determine whether Representative Collins violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation, or other applicable standard of conduct in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities, with respect to allegations that he engaged in unlawful conspiracy, securities fraud, and wire fraud; purchased discount stock that was not available to the public; took official actions on behalf of a company in which he had a significant financial interest; and made false statements to, withheld information from, or otherwise misled federal investigators.
The Honorable Mimi Walters will serve as the Chairwoman of the ISC, and the Honorable Theodore E. Deutch will serve as the Ranking Member. The other two members of the ISC are the Honorable Randy Hultgren and the Honorable Jared Polis.
The Department of Justice has requested that the Committee defer consideration of the matters in the ISC’s jurisdiction. The Committee, again following precedent, unanimously recommended to the ISC that it defer action on its investigation at this time. No other public comment will be made on this matter except in accordance with Committee rules.